Political parties shall be brought under the act as they are centre to the ecosystem of democracy. They are the main actor of election process. The points in favour of RTI act are as follows:
Indirect financing in the form of income tax exemptions. State also provide them indirect financing in the form of airing them on DD channels and Prasar Bharti. Section 80GGB provide deduction to the individual makes the strong case for indirect financing.
As per Section 29C of the Representation of People Act, 1951, all donations of and above Rs. 20,000/- made to political parties are required to be reported to the income tax department. This obligation cast on the political parties points towards their public character.
Under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 all political parties must affirm their allegiance to the Constitution of India and such allegiance is made compulsory for the purpose of registration under sub-section (7) of Section 29A. Therefore, political parties so registered must furnish information to the public under the right of information under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India, since right of information has been held to be a part of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a).
Political parties now have a strong influence over the MP’s and MLA’s with the advent of anti -defection law. Such influence need a public scrutiny which can be materialise by bringing them under RTI.
Many surveys have suggested the amount of unaccounted money rushing in during elections. There has to be accountability tool there.
The Law Commission of India in its 170th Report on ‘Reform of the Electoral Laws’ in May 1999 had recommended transparency in the functioning of political parties.
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